Awaiting the arrival of a new baby is an exciting time! It’s simply unlike anything else! You are most likely experiencing a mix of emotions: worried, happy, excited, curious and much more feelings.
The first months of your baby life will be hard for new moms, but believe me, days pass quickly and everything will be fine again! But, the best way to make these days easier is by educating yourself about newborn and motherhood journey.
The best way to educate yourself is by listening to other mom’s experiences.
There was a question was asked to some moms (If there was one thing you could go back and do to prepare for your newborn or your motherhood journey, what would it be?)
1- saving money:
Expecting a baby is exciting, but it can also be an expensive time. Look at what these ladies do if they could go back to prepare for a newborn:
- Save money for maternity leave beings that I’m not being paid.
- Save more money and wait to buy a lot of stuff, especially the expensive things that I didn’t always need!
- Saved more money, not bought so many things she didnt need.
- I didn’t need over 50% of the stuff I bought/got. With my second (that I just had), I went completely minimal and it’s been great.
- Look at the Facebook market when wanting to purchase expensive things (bouncers, swings, mommaroo, etc.)
2- Educate yourself about breastfeeding:
Breastfeeding may be a hard time for new moms, but educating yourself about it will make this stage less tough. Read what the moms would do if they could return back:
- Research and prepare for breastfeeding. I had gone to see a LC but I wasn’t given as much information as I would have liked. I was ill prepared.
- Breastfeeding education! I was SO naive and completely underestimated the intense emotions that were linked to it for me.
- Prepare for the pain of breastfeeding. Know it’s going to be rough for a few weeks and then so worth it!
- Definitely buy nipple shields and do more researchs on breastfeeding with inverted nipples. We’re 4 weeks pp and not able to feed without them. I asked a nurse if I could try using a shield and she gasped and almost yelled that “they’re never a good idea!” I asked why, and she goes “they just aren’t!” Being more knowledgeable from the beginning would have saved me so much fear and so many tears.
- Understanding how to breastfeed and pump! I didnt get the hang of it until I was 3 months pp! Almost 7 months in and we’ve finally got a routine down! Also prepping storage bags for storing milk would’ve been helpful instead of buying tons after he was home!
- I would have taken pumping more seriously.
- I would have gotten a bunch of foods/drinks ready to increase milk supply. I had a nicu baby and she’s a month old and just starting to breast feed now because I didn’t have any milk for the first little bit.
3- Prepare mentally for the new baby:
Having a baby is one of the biggest life changes that you’ll experience. Those tips from other moms will help you emotionally preparing for a baby:
- I think i was prepared in a sense of i had everything me and the baby needed. I just was not prepared mentally for the first month at all… it was awful. So when your time to go home with your baby comes. CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK. You just birthed an entire human. Don’t feel bad if the laundry gets piled up or the dishes don’t get done or you don’t cook supper for your partner. You will be dealing with a lot of emotions so don’t get hung up on that. Just remember it’s ok and actually normal to feel sad the first couple weeks. (If it’s extreme obviously seek some help) . I felt so broken because i didn’t know about the “baby blues” and i had a bad case of it. I feel like if i would’ve known more about that i wouldn’t have felt like such an awful mom.
- Start being okay with not having control over situations, get my husband and I in therapy before birth so we’d already have support postpartum, realize that baby blues happen with damn near everyone and postpartum depression is very real (for dads too).
- Throw the mom guilt away. You don’t need it.
- The first two weeks postpartum, it’s completely normal to randomly cry even if you don’t necessarily feel sad. Your hormones are adjusting so you’ll feel all over the place emotionally, but if need be reach out to a professional for help.
- Just keep reminding yourself that everything does get better! The newborn stage does get better, you will get sleep again. This is just short period of time in your life.
Read more :
4- Mentally prepare for NICU:
If you know you might have a premature birth, it’s normal for you and your partner to feel many positive and negative emotions. Please read what this mom said, it may help you:
- Mentally prepare myself for a preemie and the world of the NICU. I was already considered high risk for my pregnancy was going beautifully and so I never thought that I would have been in NICU mom. So the experience + recovering from a C-section was extremely overwhelming but NICU is a special place. And they get your baby on a great schedule feeding and bed routine.
5- Educate yourself about the newborn sleep habits, colic and acid reflux:
Educating yourself about the new born habits will definitely make the motherhood journey easier:
- I would have read more about newborn sleep habits.
- I would educate myself more on colicky babies.
- Educate myself on newborn sleep and feeding habits. I was not prepared for day night confusion, cluster feeding, etc. I expected my baby to sleep like 18 or more hours a day but she didn’t. She was awake all the time and feeding all the time and the sleep deprivation really got the better of me.
- I wish I was better prepared for acid reflux. Both my babies had it and it freaked me out.
- That colicky/gassy babies are a thing ( I really didn’t know about this) and it’s okay, get some gas drops/ gripe water and don’t dwindle on how hard the time is because eventually it’ll pass!
6- Ask for support:
- Get a support system in place for when you bring the baby home. Let people you trust help you! Depression and anxiety are rampant postpartum. My husband was not prepared at all with how to deal with my depression and anxiety and I wasn’t want him near me. We are 7 months postpartum and still dealing with these issues!
- I wish i would’ve asked for help, instead of wanting to do it all on my own.
7- Induction isn’t the best choice!
- I wish I would have know induction isn’t the best answer unless medically necessary. Going three days over doesn’t warrant an induction. It resulted in a c section when the baby didn’t respond well to the meds.
These were the main things that repeated in the answers of the ladies, but still some important things they would do if they could return back to prepare for newborn:
- I would just wanna go back and hold my daughter more. She’s almost 7 months and never wants to cuddle.
- deep clean my whole house better because it got dirty so fast and now it’s harder to keep up with baby!
- Start my maternity leave earlier.
- Sleep more.
- Don’t internet too much. I worried a lot and googled everything but my baby is perfect.
- Workout more so my body was strong for the physical exhaustion of it. Like just picking up my baby out of the crib every other hour is exhausting!
- Have everything ready early. I thought I had time for housecleaning and stuff, but she came 2 and a half weeks early!
- Move back stateside to be near my family.
- Don’t listen to any negative stories.
- Meal preparation and more freezer meals.
- Gotten more pics during my pregnancy and did a newborn photoshoot.
- softer / comfier clothes for myself.
- I would have had more hobbies ready to do around the house. I’m not good at staying home all the time and I struggled with cabin fever and boredom.
Now, if there was one thing you could go back and do to prepare for your newborn or your motherhood journey, what would it be? Please leave a comment with the answer, so that new moms will learn from your experience.